Dash earned their first victory of the NWSL Challenge Cup

Friday, Mar 25, 2022 The Houston Dash earned their first victory of the NWSL Challenge Cup earlier this evening with a 3-2 comeback victory over Racing Louisville FC in Kentucky. Today’s victory was the first come-from-behind triumph for the Dash after conceding two goals in the first half in all competitions. Houston made two changes at halftime that changed the complexion of the match as the Dash scored two goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half. The Dash pulled a goal back in the 56th minute after a shot from forward Makamae Gomera-Stevens was blocked by the Louisville backline. 

The rebound fell to forward María Sánchez for her first goal of the year. Sanchez sparked the equalizer two minutes later by dribbling past a Louisville defender to find midfielder Marisa Viggiano inside the box. Houston took the lead in the 65th minute from the penalty spot after referee Sergii Demianchuk called fora handball inside the box. Captain Rachel Daly converted the spot kick for her first goal of the year and to give Houston its first lead of the game. Louisville took the lead in the 16th minute after Kirsten Davis intercepted the ball inside the box. 

Davis anticipated a clearance at the edge of the box and beat a Dash defender to the ball prior to finishing with a low shot to the inside of the far post. Louisville doubled their lead in the 40th minute after Dash defender Katie Naughton cleared a cross from Lauren Milliet. The ball fell to forward Jessica McDonald for a first-touch finish that found the inside of the near post. Houston’s first threat of the evening came in the sixth minute when Sánchez found Daly inside the box. 

Daly’s first touch created a shooting opportunity, but her effort bounced off a Louisville defender and into the arms of goalkeeper Katie Lund. Dash defender Haley Hanson forced a save in the final minutes of the first half with a header off a cross from Daly. Lund was well positioned to control Hanson’s header at the near post. Sanchez forced a save from Lund in the 77th minute after she won a free kick outside the box. The Mexican international dribbled away from two defenders in the final third and brought down by a late tackle. Sanchez’s effort was a low, well placed effort that was denied at the bottom corner of the far post by the Louisville goalkeeper. 

 The Dash return to PNC Stadium on Wednesday, March 30 to host Sam Mewis and Kansas City Current at 7:30 p.m. CT. For tickets and additional information, visit HoustonDash.com.

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